Finds dating to the early Terminal Mesolithic period have been uncovered at water depths of 6 metres in organogenic sediment layers during an underwater dig near fallen oak trunks off the cliff line at Stohl, Germany, to the North of Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein. Initial evaluations in 2012 at the site – Strande LA 163 – revealed excellent preservation conditions and extensive finds, particularly of organic finds including human remains.
Typological and scientific dating gives us evidence that the site was occupied between 5390 BC and 4750 BC. It thus belongs to the aceramic phase of the Ertebølle culture (the Jäckelberg/Rosenfelde Phase). This is exciting because there has so far been little evidence of in-situ finds from the North German Baltic coast. This seaside settlement was located on the shore of a lagoon where hunters, fishermen and gatherers produced tools made from flint, bone, antler and wood. They had access to local food sources both on land and at sea.
In 2014, the German Research Foundation (DFG) provided funding to evaluate the site. The investigation of an area approximately 1 hectare demonstrated that organic sediments containing finds were not just confined to the area of the 2012 test excavations, but were also present over a wider area. Local divers also discovered more finds, including exposed organic sediment layers and fallen trees.
The excavation is made by Niedersächsisches Institut für historische Küstenforschung (NIhK), Archaeological Museum Schloss Gottorf and Kiel's University.